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carb floats that don't float

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#1 thom OFFLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2015 - 11:42 PM

I have found over the years that old style metal floats will get full over a period of time. I have a Lawn-Boy rear engine rider (made by Gilson) that ran great last fall. Yesterday I cleaned out the gas tank and removed the float bowl to clean it out. The float seems to be about half full.  Usually there is no hole where it appears that gas has leaked into the float. I'm wondering, is it condensation that accumulates somehow inside the floats , or does gas somehow leak in ? Would condensation not require some air to form? I've had very little success getting the floats empty and working again. If I stick a pin-hole in the float and then seal the hole with a tiny dab of epoxy, probably JB Weld, should I make the hole near the pivot end , or does it matter. Anybody else been there and done that? Thanks.

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#2 ducky OFFLINE  


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Posted April 07, 2015 - 01:06 AM

Brass (metal) floats are sealed with solder when they are made.  The only way a liquid could get inside would be if a leak developed in the solder or the brass itself were punctured.  


You will need to find the leak so it can be repaired, which may be easier with the liquid in it.  Dry the float assy and rotate it around and look for a wet spot.  Mark this spot for future reference.   CAUTION KEEP FIRE AWAY DURING THIS PROCESS!!!


Once the leak is found you will be able cause another leak i.e. a small drill bit to allow any liquid in the float to drain out.  Then both of the leaks can be sealed with solder and you should be as good as new.  Again as note above DO NOT use flames here.  A solder iron will do the job without using a flame. 


With the repair the float may be a slight bit heavier than OEM.  This should not cause a problem but a slight decrease in the float level adjustment will make up for this.

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#3 The Fife Plooman OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 01:31 AM

Hi thom

a trick that a member of our vintage club  had shown me in the past is that you put water in a pan deep enough to cover the float bring it to the boil,  then switch off the heat source then immerse the float in it, this forces out the fuel that is inside the float in a stream of bubbles,mark the leak and repair it.

Hope this helps

George S

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#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted April 07, 2015 - 05:04 AM

I think there is a very nice video on here of a float repair by Moderator MH81- Alan.

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 06:40 AM

Here is a video and some q&a we put together. Hope it helps.
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#6 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted April 07, 2015 - 07:27 AM

I bought an electric heat gun a while back. Yes, it still has that glowing red end on it, but holding it back a ways and blowing warm air across the flaot will cause it to heat up and the liquid will start coming back out where it is leaking. Get it warm enough to get it all out of there before fixing the hole!

#7 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 08:28 AM

You may need to cool the float in order to solder the last hole.
The heat generated from soldering the last hole will make it
hard to seal because the pressure inside the float from heating
it will pop the melted solder back out of the hole. Use an soldering
iron and cool the float before soldering, set it on ice or something
cold. Good luck, Noel